Good racing is magical, and we saw quite a bit of it Monday at Belmont. A holiday card with good attendance, good handle and a big following on various forms of digital media. The Met Mile, which was the highlight of the day, did not disappoint. There's something about days like this that reminds everyone what it is to enjoy the sport.
Harness racing is not like that - a smaller following, less watched races and so on. However, it's that time of year when for people like me and many of you, we start to get excited.
This weekend the Meadowlands cards are outstanding, with NJSS finals.
At Western Fair, the Molson Pace is on tap, and Greg and Ian have a attracted a fantastic ensemble. Foiled Again, the nine year old iron horse goes for his third Molson Pace, against upstart Betterthancheddar and other wiley vets like Aracache Hanover.
At Yonkers, the Lismore and Rooney for three year olds is slated to go.
And at Mohawk, the
For picks on some of these races this weekend, you can follow the Grand Circuit challenge at HANA Harness.
What Thoroughbred racing has, that harness racing does not, is a big race plan. America's Best Racing, along with the marketing arm at NYRA, can not be doing a better job to get the word out for races like the Met Mile. Because they are out in the open for everyone to see, and they can only market and control a slice of racing, ABR are apt to get criticized, but I challenge anyone to say they've been doing a poor job. Penelope's work on twitter is worth her salary alone, and the rest of the crew - a crew who clearly treats this as a passion, not a job - are doing excellent work.
This weekend there's a column on tap at Harness Racing Update, about some of the things that might be needed to be done if a commish was hired by harness racing. Other than angering some people, it will probably be well received by you, the bettor and fan.
If you are a harness fan you've welcomed the news about Grand River Raceway slashing takeout rates. B tracks in Ontario suffer from low pools and high takeout. People like me and many of you simply cannot fight those two characteristics. At Grand River, one of those items has been attacked, and it should bring some handle and interest to the beautiful oval. With several tracks closing down, Grand River should have superb racing this season, and at cheap rates for the double and win pools, you'd have to be nuts not to give it a look.
Ballsy, ballsy column from Indulto on California racing's issues. He hits the nail on the head with a lot of his chatter. He's right, if the Breeders Cup does have some cajones, they'd race the two year old races in a state, at a track that will honor the lasix ban.
Massive carryover at Northfield tonight, with a $100,000 guaranteed pool for their pick 5. Study up and bet. The rake is only 14%, and the pool will have a ton of value. If you don't play this pool, don't complain about takeout rates, because this is as close to a positive expectation bet you're ever gonna see. Details and program pages are here.
Congrats to our twitter friend JHO on his promotion. Nice kid, hard worker, and he does a good job from what I can tell. Well deserved.
Have a great day racing pals!